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Abdominal pain is a common reason for referral to a gastroenterologist. The workup of patients with chronic abdominal pain can be extremely challenging as clinicians are responsible for determining whether the patient can be observed or treated symptomatically or this abdominal pain heralds a more systemic disease. The differential is typically wide and given the innervation of the abdomen, localization of abdominal pain does not always provide clear insight into the etiology. This review attempts to help the gastroenterologist narrow down that broad differential and focus on key elements of the patient visit. We emphasize the importance of a detailed history from the patient, along with review-specific details of their history and physical examination that can clue one in about the etiology of the abdominal pain. We review the causes of diffuse abdominal pain that may not first be considered along with uncommon causes of localized abdominal pain. We also review the functional causes of abdominal pain and the importance of identifying these disorders, to avoid unnecessary testing that commonly occurs with these patients.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The American journal of gastroenterology
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A disorder with chronic or recurrent colonic symptoms without a clearcut etiology. This condition is characterized by chronic or recurrent ABDOMINAL PAIN, bloating, MUCUS in FECES, and an erratic disturbance of DEFECATION.
A form of therapy that employs a coordinated and interdisciplinary approach for easing the suffering and improving the quality of life of those experiencing pain.
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Sensation of discomfort, distress, or agony in the abdominal region; generally associated with functional disorders, tissue injuries, or diseases.
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